USDA/AMS Press Release:
Release No.: 150-14
Contact: Nadine Wilkins, (202) 720-8998, email@example.com
WASHINGTON, June 19, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on five produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
–Marco Produce Inc., operating out of Miami, Fla., for failing to pay a $69,292 award in favor of a Georgia seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Marco A. Carmenatis was listed as the officer, director, and major stockholder of the business.
–Cross Country International LLC, operating out of McAllen, Texas, for failing to pay a $7,279 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jaime De La Paz and Gustavo Felix J. Ramirez were listed as members of the business.
–Pioneer Produce LLC, operating out of Still Water, Okla., for failing to pay a $13,544 award in favor of an Oklahoma seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Larry D. Stafford Jr. and Larry D. Stafford Sr. were listed as members of the business.
–Pal-Do World Inc., operating out of Lakewood, Wash., for failing to pay a $28,957 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Young S. Park and Byung C. Park were listed as the officers, directors, and/or major stockholders of the business.
–Robert Marinaro, doing business as Sunny Fresh Citrus, operating out of Vero Beach, Fla., for failing to pay a $29,404 award in favor of a Florida seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Robert K. Marinaro was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.
PACA provides an administrative forum to handle disputes involving produce transactions; this may result in a reparation order being issued that requires damages to be paid by those not meeting their contractual obligations in buying and selling fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. USDA is required to suspend the license or impose sanctions on an unlicensed business that fails to pay PACA reparations awarded against it as well as impose restrictions against those principals determined to be responsibly connected to the business when the order is issued. Those individuals, including sole proprietors, partners, members, managers, officers, directors, or major stockholders may not be employed by or affiliated with any PACA licensee without USDA-approval.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), PACA Division, regulates fair trading practices of produce businesses operating subject to PACA, which includes buyers, sellers, commission merchants, dealers, and brokers within the fruit and vegetable industry. All oversight of actions related to PACA are conducted by the AMS, an agency within USDA.
In the past three years, USDA resolved approximately 4,600 claims filed under PACA involving more than $87 million. This is just one more way USDA continues to support the fruit and vegetable industry.
For more information, contact John Koller, Chief, Dispute Resolution Branch at (202) 720-2890, by fax at (202) 690-2815, or by email at PACAdispute@ams.usda.gov regarding this matter.